I’ve been using essential oils to soothe various health issues for a long time—over 15 years, now—so I’m fairly well-versed with their uses and efficacy. In the past, I’ve mostly stuck to my own mixtures (in tinctures, salves, balms, etc.), and have used a few items made by friends as well, but when I heard about the essential oil/aromatherapy patches created by Natural Patches of Vermont, I was eager to try them out.
The patches come in a variety of different formulations, including those that aid insomnia, alleviate PMS, increase energy/mental clarity, soothe coughs and colds, ease skin irritation, calm stress, and soothe aches and pains. It was the last of these that I used first, and the result was just mind-boggling.
I have some old injuries from my ballet days, and every so often I’ll make a wrong move and be wincing and hobbling for a few days. Most recently, I slipped on some ice and twisted my left knee, inflaming the chronic tendonitis that I have in there. Usually when this happens, I’m relegated to the couch with my leg propped up on pillows and a tensor bandage keeping me from whimpering, but this time I thought I’d try out the Soothing Aches & Pains Formula patch, which has arnica, cayenne, rosemary, lemongrass, and ginger in it. To my surprise, I felt relief from the pain almost instantly: within just a few minutes, the pain had lessened enough for me to walk around a bit and even bend to pick something up, which usually sends a spike of pain through me when I try. Impressive much? The following day, I had no pain whatsoever, and that just floored me.
Arnica has long been used as a topical liniment for aching joints and injuries, and having it available in patch form like this, with complementary healing oils mixed in, is absolutely brilliant: it doesn’t have to be slathered on the skin in salve form and then wrapped in gauze to keep it from soaking into your clothes—it’s all contained in a handy, self-sticking patch that can be applied directly to the sore area. In all honesty, I was not expecting this product to work as well as it did, and I was more than pleasantly surprised that it did.
As I wasn’t sick, stressed-out, or particularly itchy since I received the variety pack, I didn’t have the chance to try out those particular formulas. I did, however, try some of the others:
The Soothing PMS/Menopause Formula: I couldn’t wear this one on my chest (even when halved in size) as it gave me heart palpitations, but the scent was lovely. I’m not sure if it actually did much to soothe my PMS, but I smelled great.
The Relaxing Sleep Formula seems to have worked wonders, though I didn’t wear it as a patch: I’m often quite insomniac, so one night when I was thrashing around and unable to sleep, I slapped a patch on the headboard behind my pillow, and curled up with a book. It must have worked quite well, as I woke seven hours later with my book beside me and no recollection of having fallen asleep.
The Mental Focus Formula also worked spectacularly well: I cut the patch in half and slapped one piece on each shoulder before I sat down to do some editing work, and the minty-lemony scent kept me sharp, focused, and alert for hours.
All in all, I’m really impressed with this product, and will be ordering another batch of those arnica patches as soon as I can.
Ready to try some out for yourself? Click here to shop at Natural Patches of Vermont.